First Yorkshire Marathon Hailed A Huge Success
8:26am 21st October 2013
First Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon hailed a huge success as thousands achieve lifetime ambition – and more than £1m raised for dozens of deserving causes
Over 6,000 runners signed up to take part in the inaugural race raising an estimated £1.3m for a host of good causes.
Thousands of spectators lined the streets of York and surrounding villages to cheer on the participants as they made their way around the picturesque 26.2 mile route, which started and finished at the University of York.
Entries came from as far as Canada, Australia and the USA. The field included a host of elite athletes and the honour of winning the first Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon went to Edwin Korir, from Kenya, who clocked a super-fast time of 2:13:31.
The first woman home was Helen Koskei, also from Kenya, in a time of 2:40:10, while Christopher Nash was the first wheelchair athlete over the finishing line in a time of 3:00:49.
The biggest cheer, however, was reserved for Rebecca Tomlinson, the daughter of late fundraiser and campaigner Jane, in whose memory the event was launched.
The marathon, organised by the team behind the popular Run For All Asda Foundation 10K series and Leeds Half Marathon, is part of the lasting legacy of the late Jane Tomlinson CBE, who raised almost £2million by completing a series of amazing sporting challenges, despite being diagnosed with incurable cancer.
Rebecca – who wore bib number 1 - finished the marathon in an impressive 3:23:49. As she crossed the finish line, her father Mike raced in to hug her.
Mike said: “In all the time I’ve been going to events – or organising them – this was by far the best event I have ever been at.
“I hope that we have put on an event that the whole of Yorkshire can be proud of and that will continue to flourish over the years.
“What started as one person’s dying wish to run a marathon has turned into a celebration for 6,100 others today. But my greatest joy was seeing Rebecca finish in 3 hours 23 minutes.
“It has been an all-round excellent day.”
Jamie Ford, the Chief Executive Officer of title sponsors, Plusnet, added: “Today has been a fantastic event, not only full of great sporting challenges but some truly unique Yorkshire spirit. I am proud Plusnet has played a part in staging this event.”
The race attracted entries from a number of celebrities who either tackled the full 26.2 miles or took part in the James Potter Eggs Yorkshire Marathon Corporate Relay Challenge.
They included BBC Look North’s Harry Gration, actors Tony Audenshaw and Chris Chittell from ITV’s Emmerdale, former Leeds United and England international footballer Danny Mills, BBC weather presenter Keeley Donovan, double gold medal Paralympian Hannah Cockroft, Leeds Rhinos legend Keith Senior, BBC Sports presenter George Riley, ITV Yorkshire Calendar presenter Christine Talbot, Olympian Tracey Morris, BBC Look North sports reporter Tanya Arnold and Olympic marathoner Tracey Morris.
Harry Gration, who finished the full marathon in 5:53:45, said: “I foolishly promised to do the marathon back in January and I can’t believe it came round so quickly. It was a fantastic day and a wonderful marathon – it is definitely the last one though! Well done to all the White Rose Ladies [the running club Harry trained with] who did an amazing job in getting me to the finish.”
Yorkshire's fastest runner was Mike Burrett, he came in 7th place.
The relay challenge saw teams of six from scores of companies and organisations bidding to be crowned the county’s fastest firm. The results will be announced at a later date.
Keith Senior, who took part in the relay part of the marathon, said: “It was great – there was such a fantastic atmosphere on course, the supporters were brilliant. Everyone who took part should be really proud of themselves.”
James Potter, director of James Potter Yorkshire Free Range Eggs, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been part of this first Yorkshire Marathon. It was a truly memorable event for competitors and spectators alike and one I am sure will go from strength to strength.”
Among the scores of good causes to benefit from the marathon were the event’s partner charities - Martin House Children's Hospice, Macmillan Cancer Support, Yorkshire Cancer Research, Parkinson's UK, the Haven, Clic Sargent, Candlelighters, St Leonard's Hospice, Sue Ryder Care and the Jane Tomlinson Appeal.
Among the many charity runners were Dawn Boddy of Bilborough, York, who was running for Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice in Leeds in memory of her late father. Dawn, 39, completed the event in 4:44:46.
It was a family affair for Susan and Paul Adams of Bishopthorpe. Susan was clocking up her milestone 200th marathon while Paul was tackling his 259th. Susan crossed the line in 5:54:42 while Paul came home in a time of 5:56:53.
Matthew Briggs, of Huntington, took on his first marathon after shedding an incredible 17st 10lbs. Matthew was once so unfit that he could barely run for the bus but he crossed The Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon finish line in 4:52:32.
The city of York’s business community was also a winner yesterday, with the race worth an estimated £1m to the local economy.
Cllr Sonja Crisp, City of York Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said: “Working with the marathon team and partners to bring this huge sporting event with its significant economic benefits to the city, has been a very positive experience. I’m in awe of the thousands of runners who have hopefully raised millions for local charities through their amazing efforts and I look forward to welcoming them back.”
The marathon was hosted at the University of York. University Registrar, Dr David Duncan, said: “The University is honoured to play host to this wonderful event. Jane Tomlinson was an inspirational figure to millions and we are extremely pleased that so many people, including many of our own students and staff, have been able to support the first Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon. We are proud to make our facilities available for such a deserving cause.”
The event was sponsored by Plusnet, James Potter Eggs, City of York Council, the University of York, Lucozade, Asda Foundation, BBC Look North, BBC Radio York, the Yorkshire Post, Runner's World, Marathon Talk and Run247.com.
Following the success of the first Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon, the race looks destined to become a major date on the county’s sporting calendar and attention now turns to next year’s event, which takes place on Sunday 12th October.
Runners who want to be part of next year's action are advised to get in early. They can currently sign up to a pre-sale register which will open for entries on Friday 3rd January. Regular entries will then go live on Monday 6th January. Go to www.theyorkshire marathon.com for details. Can’t wait? Run For All’s Ultimate Season Ticket is on sale now and includes a guaranteed place in The Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon for 2014. For more details go to www.runforall.com
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